RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser accused Apple of operating a "Soviet model" with its music service at NAB this week.
The accusation follows news last week that Glaser had approached Apple CEO Steve Jobs to request a strategic alliance between the companies.
Glaser had wanted to find a way to work with Apple – requesting the latter firm open up its FairPlay DRM system to Real – in an attempt to trounce Microsoft in the digital music market.
Real's CEO showed a mockup of Jobs and called iTunes' closed system a "Soviet Model." In Jobs' world, "you can go to any store you want, so long as its iTunes," Glaser accused. "That"s not going to fly in mainstream markets" and will ultimately cause a "morass of incompatibility," he argued.
Glaser revealed that Real's Rhapsody music subscription service has grown 300 per cent in a year, and now counts 450,000 subscribers.
But he said the entire industry would bleed if Apple doesn't work with what he termed "open standards".
The European Commission this week released a preliminary report in which it warned that standards incompatibility would hold back Europe's digital music business.